Conspiracies are weird. They can also be a bit fun. Christianity believes in the ultimate conspiracy theory of the enemies of God being manipulated and made complicit in evil by unseen forces the comprise spiritual warfare. To really get a good 90s dose of the nuttier version of this, the Christian music artist Carman has a fascinating take aimed at kids (for unrelated entertainment). My preference of presentation is closer to The Veritas Conflict or Frank Paretti options. I did listen to Carman’s a great many times.
People mock conspiracy. I get it, I guess. I’ve never been much on accepting at face value what is presented to the public. I also don’t accept at face value what is dished out by strange people on the internet. However, I suspect the gut reaction to conspiracy theories that they are all nuts is embedded in an unwillingness to believe governing forces are capable of it or that the genius can’t exist. It’s too far outside lived experience for us to fully be on board with that central theory, no matter how popular Frank Underwood is in American household tv culture.
Some people are just more capable of imagining it, though. And such imaginings make for great fiction that tantalizes and tempts us to question this seemingly immovable assumption.
I’m not one to think that there can’t exist the pieces central to a conspiracy theory – secrecy, organization, planning, genius – though I do not go as far as conspiracy theorists do. The news media and investigations (do those exist anymore? News investigators?) seem to keep things surface level and disconnected. Sometimes it can be shocking to discover something seemingly unrelated may actually have a connection to a major event, if not purposely, but still potentially causal (as one of a great many factors) – such as Britain’s and Germany’s trade policies in the 1850s leading up to WWI and WWII.
The entirety of a conspiracy theory need not be accepted in order to let one question the public story. It should not be shocking or incredulous to us that governments can use propaganda against their own people to accomplish furtherance of their own goals. You do not need to agree with Alex Jones that Sandy Hook was staged and no one died to wonder if what is surface level accepted is true – could the unstable shooter be manipulated? Sure he could. Was he? I don’t know.
In Parkland, we don’t have to go very far to doubt. A teacher’s publicized testimony of an armored shooter and video of catching a boy in jeans and t-shirt with no weapon or armor can still let us question the media’s presentation without being full on conspiracy nutcases.
How far is too far, though? Scripture says to test everything for truth. Refusing to blindly accept the presented story should not necessarily make one a conspiracy theorist or nutjob.
Or maybe I am crazy and I should not be taken seriously. 😉